OZ Racing Wheels Australia

Best Budget Performance Tyres in Australia

Best Budget Performance Tyres Australia

Since writing about saving a whopping $352 on a set of tyres for my Honda Civic I’ve been inundated with questions about the best budget performance tyres in Australia.

Needless to say we often overpay on premium tyres designed for speeds up to 270km/h, and legally speaking you’ll never get anywhere near that on Australian roads, will you?

Although the words “budget” and “performance” aren’t the best paring of words, there are definitely great tyre options which will give you great performance on a much friendlier budget. Most of the time, given the price you’ll save, it’s a no brainer.

Let’s look into what I consider the best budget performance tyres in Australia, in 2024.

Note: Please note prices have been sourced from our preferred tyre retailer Tyroola.

Budget performance tyre considerations

Before investing in any set of tyres it’s worth considering a few things which will help you choose the right tyres for you. When it comes to Australian road conditions (assuming you won’t be taking your performance car on endless corrugated dirt), most tyres will have very good grip, and almost all will have a suitable speed rating.

Let’s cover some basic considerations before buying a set of budget performance tyres:

What’s your budget?

Lot’s of Aussies drive performance cars, but when it comes to buying tyres they don’t have the funds to buy premium Pirellis.

And that’s fine.

There’s a huge difference in price of performance tyres, and you have to wonder how much you’re paying for the name. Did you know the state-of-the-art premium tyre technologies won’t affect your butt dyno whatsoever, and it’s not as if your Dad ran those tyres when he ragged his V8 Commodore around Sydders.

Did you know most premium tyre brands sell perfectly decent tyres for much less than their flagship brands, and most are great for on-road performance? They just aren’t rated for dragstrip speeds, that’s all.

Write down on paper how much you can afford for your budget premium tyres, and we’ll help you find something suitable.

What’s your driving style?

Do you rag your car?

Genuine question, and this will affect how “budget” you want to go. Generally speaking, the cheaper the tyre, the less grip it may offer. You can argue cheaper tyres offer less durability, but this isn’t always the case.

Keep in mind tyres are one of the main safety aspects of your car. More so for a performance car. So if you drive aggressively and push tyres to the limit, it may be worth spending a bit more money or blowing your budget.

What type of driving do you do normally?

If you drive a lot on the freeway then the pressure is off significantly when buying tyres.

Always consider what you use your car for the most. Write down percentages of use on paper (such as 80% freeway, 15% around town, 5% hooning around Coles car park at 3am) – this will help guide you towards a set of tyres which meet both your budget, and your performance needs.

Did you know the average Porsche driver will stay within speed limits much more than the average Holden driver? There’s irony in that, but it means Porsche drivers unnecessarily overspend more on performance tyres than Holden drivers!

Are weather or regional conditions a factor?

Most of the time in Australia weather and climate isn’t an issue, unless you live in Melbourne where I know you get arctic weather conditions most of the year.

Do you need your tyres to cater for regional conditions, such as dirt roads or snowy mountain conditions? This may affect the tyres you buy, but you knew that already, didn’t you?

With weather conditions I really just wanted to make a cheap joke about Melbourne weather.

Right, let’s look at some budget performance tyre options…

Best in Budget Performance: Pirelli Dragon Sport

Pirelli Dragon Sport
Top Pick: Pirelli Dragon Sport

The Pirelli Dragon Sport is a great performance tyre from a brand you know to be premium. It’s a tyre which although isn’t the cheapest is still very affordable given the brand name.

The Dragon Sport is a very popular choice in Australia for sports and performance cars, with lots of positive feedback from genuine Aussies. It’s a great sweet spot between performance and affordability.

As a summer tyre the Dragon Sport work very well in the dry, and not too bad in the wet either. Even Melbournites have had great experiences with the tyre, both along wet tramlines and on spirited Great Alpine drives.

Although some have found these tyres slightly more noisy than boring tyres, it has to be said the tyre wear and longevity is very good. Yes, you can buy a more budget tyre, but will it last as long as Pirelli Dragon Sport? Probably not.

Best for Smaller Performance Cars: Toyo Proxes T1 Sport

Toyo Proxes T1 Sport
Great Pick: Toyo Proxes T1 Sport

I have a lot of respect for the Toyo Proxes T1 Sports, and a lot of experience having run them on my Honda CRX for many years before going all ridiculous with R888Rs (which are badass).

A lot can be said for most Japanese tyre brands, and believe it or not the Toyo Tire Corporation emerged right after WW2. Decades of Toyo tyres sold worldwide for many applications has proven quality and durability, and also good performance with the Proxes T1 Sport. You can probably throw in “innovation” as well, and Toyo tyres are often respected by car enthusiasts.

I’m always impressed by the comparative performance of Toyo Proxes T1 Sport, and I feel you will too considering these are well within the “budget performance” bracket.

Ultimate Budget: Maxtrek Maximus M1

Best Budget: Maxtrek Maximus M1
Best Budget: Maxtrek Maximus M1

If you’ve found the first two budget performance recommendations above your budget, then let’s bring things back down to bargain.

You may find this a bit of a curve ball, but Maxtrek Maximus M1 tyres hold their own in the dry. Surprisingly so. What they fall short on is wet weather grip, but that’s less of a concern in most parts of Australia for most of the year.

If you’re happy to relax on wet days, the Maximus M1 tyres are very affordable compared to the other performance tyres above and below. The quality isn’t on par with the other recommendations, but at such a good price you’ll probably feel happier ragging them around the streets, and you’ll save enough money to buy yourself a new subwoofer.

But perhaps not for your Ferrari, right?

Best Budget Performance Allrounder: Goodyear Eagle F1 Directional 5

Best Budget Performance Allrounder - Goodyear Eagle F1 Directional 5
Best Budget Performance Allrounder Tyre: Goodyear Eagle F1 Directional 5

Goodyear are one of the biggest tyre manufacturers worldwide, not to mention the iconic blimps. Even those weird looking vehicles they took to the moon on the Apollo missions were fitted with Goodyear tyres. I bet you didn’t know that?

When it comes to budget, Goodyear have always been a solid and reliable choice. When it comes to performance tyres on a budget I’ve selected the Goodyear Eagle F1 Directional 5s. As a personal preference I would favour the slightly more expensive F1 Asymmetrics for Australian road use, but it has to be said the Directional’s are better allrounder when you throw in wet weather, and a great price too.

I’ve noticed Goodyear Eagle F1s aren’t as readily available in Australia in 2024, but shop around and you’ll find some. Alternatively opt for the Asymmetrics which are really decent summer performance tyres.

So, if you want a tyre with “F1” in the name, check out the Eagle F1s:

What budget performance tyres do you run, and why?

I’ve been driving enthusiastically and racing cars for four decades now, but I’m more than happy for other expert opinions, feedback, reviews, and experiences.

What tyres do you run and why? How do you find them for budget, and for performance?

Let me know in the comments!

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